Formability of Al 5xxx sheet metals using pulsed current for various heat treatments

Wesley A. Salandro, Joshua J. Jones, Timothy A. McNeal, John T. Roth, Sung Tae Hong, Mark T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that the presence of a pulsed electrical current, applied during the deformation process of an aluminum specimen, can significantly improve the formability of the aluminum without heating the metal above its maximum operating temperature range. The research herein extends these findings by examining the effect of electrical pulsing on 5052 and 5083 aluminum alloys. Two different parameter sets were used while pulsing three different heat-treatments (as-is, 398°C, and 510°C) for each of the two aluminum alloys. For this research, the electrical pulsing is applied to the aluminum while the specimens are deformed without halting the deformation process (a manufacturing technique known as electrically assisted manufacturing). The analysis focuses on establishing the effect of the electrical pulsing has on the aluminum alloy's various heat-treatments by examining the displacement of the material throughout the testing region of dogbone-shaped specimens. The results from this research show that pulsing significantly increases the maximum achievable elongation of the aluminum (when compared with baseline tests conducted without electrical pulsing). Another beneficial effect produced by electrical pulsing is that the engineering flow stress within the material is considerably reduced. The electrical pulses also cause the aluminum to deform nonuniformly, such that the material exhibits a diffuse neck where the minimum deformation occurs near the ends of the specimen (near the clamps) and the maximum deformation occurs near the center of the specimen (where fracture ultimately occurs). This diffuse necking effect is similar to what can be experienced during superplastic deformation. However, when comparing the presence of a diffuse neck in this research, electrical pulsing does not create as significant of a diffuse neck as superplastic deformation. Electrical pulsing has the potential to be more efficient than the traditional methods of incremental forming since the deformation process is never interrupted. Overall, with the greater elongation and lower stress, the aluminum can be deformed quicker, easier, and to a greater extent than is currently possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number051016
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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